GPs fear maternity pay could 'disappear' under NHS reforms

Maternity locum payments could 'disappear' as budgets are squeezed and NHS reforms take place, the Medical Women's Federation (MWF) has warned.

Dr Fabre warned that CCG budgets could be so tight that they could no longer afford locum maternity pay.
Dr Fabre warned that CCG budgets could be so tight that they could no longer afford locum maternity pay.

MWF president Dr Clarissa Fabre said funding for practices to cover the cost of locums for partners on maternity leave was under threat.

It was unclear whether clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) or the NHS Commissioning Board would be responsible for the payments once PCTs were abolished, she said.

‘At present, at least you know the PCT will pay a bit of the locum payments,’ Dr Fabre said. But she warned that in future CCG budgets could be so tight that they could no longer afford to pay them.

‘Locum payments are going to disappear,’ she said.

NHS Confederation acting deputy chief executive David Stout said he could not be sure who would be responsible for the payments once PCTs no longer existed.

But he suggested that because the NHS Commissioning Board (NCB) will hold GP contracts, it could take control of maternity payments as a part of this role.

Maternity locum payments are not mandatory under current rules, with some PCTs choosing not to pay.

Mr Stout said if the payments became the responsibility of the NCB, it would have a single national policy on maternity locum payments. ‘It’s unlikely that they’d do it inconsistently,’ he said.

GPC member Dr Helena McKeown said it was still unclear who would be responsible for the payments. She said a single policy would be welcome to eliminate the current postcode lottery.

Dr McKeown said if CCGs took control of maternity locum payments, it could increase inequality. ‘The question is will it get worse - this has yet to be seen.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered a huge increase in face-to-face appointments in the week before NHS...

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

The RCGP is facing legal action over its decision to remain opposed to assisted dying...

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide practices with...

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GP practices have faced a wave of abuse and complaints after a letter from NHS England...

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

The government has denied plans to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of the struggling COVID-19...

Expansion of NHS 111 service could see direct GP booking extended

Expansion of NHS 111 service could see direct GP booking extended

Plans to expand NHS 111 under measures to prepare the health service for winter could...